State Abbreviation WV
State Capital Charleston
State Size Total (Land + Water): 24,230 sq miles; Land Only: 24,078 sq miles
Number of Counties 55
Time Zone Eastern Time Zone
Bordering States Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia
Highest Point Spruce Knob, 4,863 feet
National Parks None
State Population (2015) 1,844,128
State Population Density 76.6 people / square mile
Area Codes 304, 681
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Charleston (51,400)
State Animal Black bear
State Bird Cardinal
State Butterfly Monarch butterfly
State Colors Old gold and blue
State Fish Brook trout
State Flower Rhododendron
State Fruit Golden delicious apple
State Gem Silicified Mississippian fossil coral
State Insect Honeybee
State Motto Montani semper liberi (Mountaineers are always free)
State Nickname Mountain State
State Rock Coal
State Soil Monongahela silt loam
State Song "West Virginia My Home Sweet Home", "The West Virginia Hills", "This is My West Virginia"
State Tree Sugar maple
•West Virginia was named for England's "Virgin Queen," Elizabeth I. It was part of Virginia until 1861. When Virginia seceded from the Union, the 40 western county delegates opposed the secession and formed their own government, which was granted statehood in 1863.
•The New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia, is the longest steel-arch bridge in the United States, spanning 1,699 feet across the New River Canyon.
•The first state sales tax established in the United States went into effect on July 1, 1921, in West Virginia.
•Weirton is the only city in the U.S. that extends from one state border to another. The eastern portion of the city borders Pennsylvania, and the western portion of the city borders on Ohio.
•The first official Mother's Day celebration took in 1908 at a Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, and was organized by Anna Jarvis.
•In November 2014, 18-year-old Saira Blair was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates, becoming the youngest elected lawmaker in the United States.
•In West Virginia, a person can be fined one dollar each act of cursing, swearing, or public drunkenness.
•Governor Cecil Underwood was the state’s youngest governor at 34 when he was first elected in 1956. He was elected again in 1996 at 74, making him the oldest governor of the state.
•The first municipally owned parking building in the U.S. was opened September 1, 1941 in Welch, West Virginia.
•West Virginia got its first Starbucks in December, 2003, making it the last state in the United States to have a Starbucks store.
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